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PhD Hydrometeorology

The Department of Hydrology and Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Arizona now offers the nation’s first graduate degree programs (MS, PhD) with a Major in Hydrometeorology.

Quick Facts

 
Full-time Duration:  
Starting in: August
Tuition Fee: $10,063 per semester
Location: Tucson, United States

The terrestrial water cycle includes the atmospheric component (water vapor, clouds, and precipitation) and the land component (surface and subsurface runoff, infiltration, evapotranspiration, snowmelt, river flow). Hydrometeorology plays a major role in weather and climate and strongly affects human activities.

Historically, the science and practice of hydrology has focused on land-related processes and has relied on prescribed atmospheric inputs (from observations or atmospheric model outputs, or through empirical estimates derived from conventional meteorological measurements).

In other words, the land-generated feedbacks to the atmosphere have usually not been considered. In contrast, while the atmospheric sciences generate hydrologically-relevant forecasts, they tend to avoid dealing with the details of processes influencing feedbacks generated by the land surface.

The Major in Hydrometeorology at University of Arizona provides the linkage of hydrology and atmospheric science. In establishing this linkage, it addresses the following questions:

  • What is the science involved with the interface of water in the atmosphere and water on the ground?
  • What are the ramifications for predictive capabilities when these processes are incorporated into coupled numerical weather and climate models?
  • What are the new applications in water quality (and how are water quality issues linked to precipitation and related run off issues)?
  • How is the full understanding of the hydrologic cycle from “white water” to “blue water” (from precipitation to streams to ocean to water vapor to precipitation) related to the advancements in prediction and related societal benefits that link back to the water quality issue?

The purpose of the UA Hydrometeorology Program is to become the first and premier Hydrometeorology program in the World.

Our mission is to:

  • Educate students by providing them with (1) a well-rounded background in the related fields of atmospheric, hydrologic and systems sciences, (2) the tools and methods for numerical modeling, prediction and data assimilation (surface hydrology, weather and climate), and (3) the sensors, data sources and data manipulation tools, including remote-sensing and geographic information systems (GIS)
  • Partner with various national and international weather and climate forecasting agencies to identify critical hydrometeorological knowledge gaps, to support, encourage, and facilitate research in multidisciplinary hydrometeorological science, and to work towards improved forecasts and forecast support (particularly over arid and semiarid regions, such as the Western US), and
  • Serve the hydrometeorological science and operational communities by coordinating meetings and workshops seeking to build consensus related to hydrometeorological science and to assist in the transfer of advances in understanding into the decision-making arena.

Courses include:

  • Dynamic Meteorology
  • A Physical Meteorology
  • Fundamentals in Surface Water Hydrology
  • Hydroclimatology

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“Choosing the Master’s program for Physiological Sciences at the University of Arizona was one of the best decisions I could have made in my education. Our department is warm and collaborative, offering an array of research topics and techniques underneath a vast and integrative umbrella of physiology. Beyond my research experience, I was presented with teaching opportunities, which I feel honed my skill of scientific communication. Having the dynamic research/teaching/class schedule not only kept me active but helped me reinforce material in multiple contexts. Overall, this program was exactly what I wanted in my segway into the medical sciences… and with my teaching assistantship paying for my tuition, how could I say no?”​

Andrew Wojtanowski // MS 2016